CHICAGO (Feb. 16, 2015) – The U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams have unveiled a bold new away Nike kit that features a stylish gradient design.
The WNT will introduce the kit when it travels to Portugal for the 2015 Algarve Cup from March 4-11, and the MNT will wear the kit for the first time on March 25 against Denmark.
The new away jersey features a unique gradient graphic on the front and back of the jersey, beginning in white at the shoulders, before a blend of light rays gradually evolve to dark blue at the hemline. Along each side of the jersey is a wide white stripe that extends to the shorts.
The jersey also boasts a new signature streamlined, clean and modern V-neck collar that blends with the shirt’s gradient graphic, and features a red triangle insert at the front to ensure all three of the USA’s national colors are represented in the kit.
Inside the back of the neck is a pennant tab featuring 13 red and white stripes to represent the original colonies that declared independence and formed the first states.
Players’ names and numbers on the back of the jersey appear in a specially-designed font that is modern, angular and directly influenced by U.S. college and varsity sports.
The new away shorts are dark blue with the white stripe along both sides that sync with those on the shirt.
The women will wear a new gradient away sock that matches their jersey – dark blue with a wide tonal stripe of chevrons on the calf at the back. The men will wear a dark blue sock without the gradient design.
While the new kit features Nike’s signature style and passion, it has also been designed to offer players the very latest in performance innovation, kit technology and environmental sustainability.
Nike’s kits are made of recycled polyester and have been created to provide both unrivalled performance benefits and a lower environmental impact. The kits are made from recycled plastic water bottles. The shorts are 100 percent recycled polyester; the shirts are 96 percent polyester, while the socks are 78 percent. By using recycled polyester Nike is also reducing the energy consumed in the entire process by up to 30 percent.
Nike Dri-FIT technology draws sweat away from the body to the exterior of the jersey and short where it can quickly evaporate. This allows players to perform at their absolute best by remaining cooler, drier, and more comfortable. Laser-cut ventilation holes and mesh panels featured in key areas of the kit also improve performance by increasing air circulation to the players’ bodies, helping to regulate body temperature.
On Feb. 9, 2013, the U.S. Women’s National Team kicked off the new year with a 4-1 victory against Scotland in Jacksonville, Florida. Christen Press, then 24-years-old, was responsible for two goals that day, scoring in the 13th minute and adding another in the 32nd to give the U.S. a 2-0 lead at halftime.
The early goal was Press’ first for the USA, coming in a match that was also her first cap.
Becky Sauerbrunn hugs Christen Press in the aftermath of Press scoring on her WNT debut.
Earning that first cap is special for any player, but a debut and a goal in the same game? That’s a rare feat. In the 30+ year history of the U.S. WNT 21 players have scored in their first caps.
NOTHING TO LOSE
Press’ path to that first game three years ago was an interesting one. In early 2012, she made the decision to move to Sweden after U.S.-based Women’s Professional Soccer folded. Press thought leaving the country might negatively impact her hopeful National Team career, but little did she know, it was only just beginning.
“I think just because I always thought that the National Teams would be watching the American league, I thought that going abroad was kind of like saying goodbye to my dream of playing for the National Team,” recalled Press. “I left around this time, in February, and I thought I would not get a call, I sort of thought that I would fall out of U.S. Soccer’s radar.”
As it turns out, head coach Pia Sundhage kept tabs on players in Europe, especially in her native land of Sweden. Press got off to a hot start with her new club, and it wasn’t long before she was on her way back home.
Press returned to the U.S. and joined the WNT in Florida in April during the final stretch of what had been an intense fitness camp. She kept to herself and tried to quickly learn as much as possible despite only being there for five days.
“I had nothing to lose,” she said. “It was my first camp, it was warm and I was so happy. I don’t think I spoke to anybody. I was not nervous, I was just happy to be in Florida and my dream was coming true. I’m always quiet when I don’t know my surroundings, so I just kept to myself trying to learn the rules, how to behave; it was all so quick.”
That short stint turned out to be the only one for Press before she was named an Olympic alternate in 2012. The following February, Tom Sermanni took over as WNT head coach, and it was then Press learned she would start against Scotland. Her chance had arrived.
“I went on the field, the crowd was so much bigger than I’d ever played in front of, and for me it was so much bigger than life,” said Press. “But I kept telling myself, ‘I’m not nervous, I’m confident, I’m a good player and I believe in myself.’”
Years and multiple goals later, plus one Women’s World Cup title to her name, the dream is alive and well for Press.
Press celebrates scoring her first World Cup goal against Australia in the USA's opening match of the 2015 Women's World Cup